Recently, Jessica McCabe (HowtoADHD – Twitter) took an informal poll of her followers. She asked:
Should I do a series on how to manage finances?
Since How to ADHD followers also have ADHD, their answers may not surprise you.
03% – Nope, I’m good at those
17% – Maybe one video
80% – OH GOD YES HELP
For sure, we at Rena-Fi get it.
I was diagnosed with ADHD about twenty five years ago after seeing my financial world collapse down to nothing. Seriously… nothing. No home, no career and almost no stuff. Ground zero.
Fifteen percent of the general population has severe financial problems. Russell Barkley has research (using the exact same criteria) showing that 62% of people with ADHD have severe financial problems. “Severe” is defined as having a serious and acute problem such as a filed foreclosure, an IRS garnishment, an impending repossession, or an in-progress eviction… things like that. 62 percent!
Financial stress is the number one health threat in the country. It’s why people skip lifesaving pharmaceuticals in order to buy food or pay the rent. It’s a major factor exacerbating relationship issues and precipitating divorce. It’s a factor in accidents and suicides. It costs employers 7,000.00 per year PER employee! It takes 10 – 12 years off of a person’s life expectancy, depending on which study you read.
Do people talk about it? No. Did I talk about it when it was happening to me? Are you kidding? Of course not!
There’s shame, embarrassment and a deeply personal sense of failure attached. Instead of talking about it, we do the opposite. We hide it. We pull out the credit card and go to Star Bucks with our friends, pretending all is well. We buy fancy cars we can ill afford. We buy comfort food and self-medicate with empty calories. We seek therapy for anxiety, self-loathing and depression. We will do almost anything to avoid facing the problem head on.
This issue is far deeper and bigger than I ever imagined when I started this company. It’s heartbreaking … and it’s largely unnecessary. That’s the real tragedy. Financial distress is a solvable problem.
Solving this problem is why Rena-Fi exists. It’s the only reason.
Richard Webster, the author of this article, is the CEO of Rena-Fi, Inc., a financial literacy platform. ADDA has partnered with Rena-Fi to bring the benefits of financial education to its membership. Rena-Fi empowers and inspires students to develop a better financial future. Learn more at Rena-Fi.com and check out our other articles about managing your finances here.